Swings and bouncers are both infant seats designed to soothe and entertain babies. Swings move in a side-to-side swinging motion, while bouncers use a more vertical up-and-down motion. Bouncers are smaller, thus easier to store. They're generally suitable from birth, while swings are better for babies over four months old who can hold their heads up. Bouncers keep babies in a semi-upright position, while swings recline further.
There are a few key factors to consider when choosing a swing or bouncer. Look for ones with harnesses, restraints, and secure straps to keep the baby safely in place. Choose a seat that can be adjusted to multiple positions and grows with your baby. More speed and motion settings are better to suit your baby's preferences. Also, consider soothing features like music, vibrations, and visual toys. Ease of use, cleaning, and assembly are important factors too.
In general, babies can use swings and bouncers from birth up to six months of age. Some high-end models offer more adjustments and can be used until nine to twelve months. However, the AAP recommends limiting the total daily time in infant equipment to 30 to 60 minutes. As long as your baby is content while in the swing or bouncer, and has adequate 'tummy time' and floor play, they can be used safely for short periods of time.
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